Young tenor, Mingjie Lei, a product of the prestigious Curtis Opera Theatre, displayed the voice and confidence of the up and coming Bel-Canto tenor that he is. His tones were bright, without an edge, sort of a soothing balm to the ears.
In the Messiah the Jesus story begins with Israel's prophets. They anticipate the savior's arrival, which finds its fulfillment in the gospel stories. Israel's anticipation and Jesus as its fulfillment: that makes the story.
San Francisco Opera's fourth presentation in the 2014/15 season is Handel's hit from 1730, Partenope. Directed by Christopher Alden, the production debuted in 2008 and is a joint effort with the English National Opera and Opera Australia.
Mark Morris gets Handel like no one else gets him: He crafted a towering piece of dance architecture in L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and now Acis and Galatea (the jazzed-up Mozart arrangement) gets the witty and lightly absurdist Morris treatment.
If you go to the Michigan Opera's new production of Handel's Julius Caesar, do not expect to see togas and laurel wreaths. Instead, you will see army tanks, sets, costumes and characters reminiscent of 1930s Hollywood.
For most people, the holiday season is over and done with. Christmas decorations have been put back into storage and the tree has been disposed of. But for arts entrepreneurs the situation is quite different.
I was expecting something unpredictable early in 2007, when I made my way to Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn to watch the iconoclastic classical musicians and composers known as the International Street Cannibals mix it up with some young boxers.
The libretto of Handel's "Messiah" is not of critical importance 250 years after the fact. And that might be the biggest joke on Charles Jennings, who saw the work as a way to confront what he believed was "a serious menace" in the world.